Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 1(10), pp. 512-519 November 2010         
Copyright © 2010 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper 

Access to compulsory education by rural migrants' children in urban China: A case study from nine cities 

Guibao Chen

Research Center for Education Policy, China National Institute for Education Research,

46 North Third Ring Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100088, PR China.

E-mail: ; Tel.: +86 10 62003310, Fax: +86 10 62003865, 

Received 28 March, 2010; Accepted 10 May, 2010


In this study, we examined the educational challenges faced by the children of rural migrants who have increasingly come to Chinese cities in large numbers seeking employment. Based on large-scale surveys of students in public, licensed private, and unlicensed private schools in nine cities (small, medium, and large), we found that access to public schools was easier for children in small and medium cities than for those in large cities, but in all cities, the children faced discrimination on several levels (e.g., extra fees, difficulty traveling to and from school). To mitigate the problems faced by these children and acknowledge the importance of their parents in sustaining China's rapid economic growth, we propose several solutions that should be implemented by Chinese educational decision-makers. In particular, more resources (funding, teachers, and support staff) should be allocated to meet the needs of these children and their parents.

Keyword: Compulsory education, rural migrants' children, urban China.

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